Do All Addiction Counselors Have College Degrees?

Do All Addiction Counselors Have College Degrees?There are many approaches to addiction recovery. The intensity of treatment depends on how severe someone’s addiction is, as well as if she has any co-occurring disorders, such as depression or bipolar disorder. The majority of addiction counselors in rehab and outpatient programs have a college degree, especially those who treat complex psychological issues. However, some counselors working in less intensive programs or support groups do not possess a degree, but rather experience helping people recover from addiction.

Professional, Intensive Inpatient Treatment

Drug addicts need intensive, medically supervised, inpatient treatment. Detox is supervised by professionals with medical training, usually including an in-house M.D. Patients also have access to licensed psychiatrists or psychologists to help them with the serious psychological issues that often accompany withdrawal. Counselors in inpatient facilities usually possess at least a master’s level college degree in either psychology or social work.

Counselors with advanced training in psychology or psychiatry are the best resource for patients who struggle with serious addiction issues, especially if those issues are coupled with a co-occurring disorder. Psychological issues such as clinical depression, bipolar disorder and posttraumatic stress disorder are serious and complex conditions, so effective treatment requires a degree from years of dedicated study and devotion to a professional career. Therapy for some of these issues sometimes involves prescription medications, which requires college training.

Support Groups and Outpatient Therapy

There are many different degrees of intensity in outpatient counseling. Again, many counselors possess a master’s or a doctorate in psychology, psychiatry or social work. However, there are counselors who work in the field in less intensive settings, such as in support groups or even church-sponsored counseling programs. These people usually do not possess a college degree, but training and experience dealing with drug abuse and addiction. Do not underestimate the dedication and compassion of these counselors; many have worked closely with addicts for years and possess real-world experience that can be invaluable to recovery. Some are recovering addicts themselves and, though they do not possess a college degree, possess the empathy that can come only from overcoming addiction.

Outpatient treatment and support groups can be very effective for drug addicts do not need the intensive treatment of inpatient rehab.

Help Finding Addiction Treatment

There are more resources available today than ever before to help drug addicts recover from their struggles and regain control of their lives. If you suffer from addiction, we can help you find the best treatment options for you. Call our toll-free helpline today; our phone counselors are available 24 hours a day to answer any questions you may have and to help you find the treatment you need.